Alabama LSU Basketball

LSU guard Ja'vonte Smart (1) celebrates the dunk play made by LSU forward Emmitt Williams (5) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Alabama, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, in Baton Rouge, La. LSU won 90-76. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

The LSU basketball team defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide 90-76 on Wednesday to extend their win streak to nine games. The Tigers (16-4, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) stand tall among the SEC in sole possession of 1st place.

LSU came out firing in the first half. Darius Days started 2-for-2 from beyond the arc to give the Tigers an early 8-5 lead.

Alabama responded with two straight three-pointers of their own to tie things up at 16 after trailing by 7 with just over 13 minutes left in the first half. LSU tightened up their defense and jumped out to a 43-25 lead following a 18-2 run.

Emmitt Williams led the charge for the Tigers in the first half, scoring 17 points while grabbing 7 rebounds. Trendon Watford, who was recently named the SEC’s freshman of the week, stuffed the stat sheet with 6 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a game-high plus/minus of +19

Alabama made 3 three-pointers within the first five minutes of the second half to cut LSU’s lead to 10. The score stayed relatively the same until LSU pulled away down the stretch.

All five starters for LSU finished in double-digit scoring, with Williams and Watford each  recording double-doubles in points and rebounds. Williams scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds followed by Watford’s 17 and 15.

Despite shooting just 3-of-16 from deep, the Tigers shot a remarkable 53% from inside the arc. LSU has proven time and time again that when three-pointers aren’t falling they can succeed in the other facets of the game.

The Tigers once again dominated inside and on the glass. LSU finished with 50 points in the paint and outrebounded Alabama 49-31.

“I would say (big plays) definitely loosens it up for all of us,” Watford said. “That’s why we have the big lineup of me at the three and (Darius) Days at the four and Emmitt (Williams) at the five. We use that to our advantage and just try to crash the offensive glass and box out on the defensive end.”

The first half was arguably the best 20 minutes of basketball LSU has played all season. Williams was dominant on both ends and Watford seemed to be everywhere.

“Emmitt was an absolute monster,” coach Wade said. “Trendon Watford did a great job on the glass and finishing around the rim. We got enough stops and were able to keep a working margin most of the game.”

LSU will look to continue their streak and sweep the season series against Ole Miss on Saturday.

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